Titles maybe for wimps but when it comes to attending an industry trade show, the best title to have is a media title. This is because media receives special treatment. Not only do we not have to pay to attend the show (depending on the show, that can be a huge saving) but many shows will have media only rooms with computers, drinks and snacks. Some shows even have media buses to take the media from their hotel to the show floor.
I became aware of the important of the media title during the Vancouver Comdex back in 2000. Back then Futurelooks.com was trying to be the next big thing on the Internet and all their people, including Stephen Fung, had fancy titles like “Chief Visionary Officer” and “Director of New Business Development for Asia Pacific, the Pacific Rim and Canada.” I think Stephen’s title was Chief Operations Officer but I’m sure they added some other fancy words in between the COO to make it sound even fancier.
The only problem with all those fancy titles is the media center at Comdex didn’t care for them and refused to let them enter the media room because their title indicates that they were not members of the press. Stephen tried to explain that Futurelooks is a media outlet and they all write for it so they should be let in. Comdex replied that they didn’t care if he was Bill Gates, only editors get media passes and enter the media room. In the end, only the Futurelooks Editor In Chief got a media pass. The CEO, COO, CIO and whatever other letters had to get normal show floor passes. I enjoyed the free lunch in the media room with the single Futurelooks editor and we laughed at the other Futurelooks members who had to buy their lunches. Since that day, everyone at Futurelooks has a media title.
Just Because You’re a Blog Doesn’t Mean You’re Media
Now, before you starting thinking, “Cool! I can get into any trade show for free!” Trade shows are not dumb. Just because you have a blog doesn’t make you media. As a matter of fact, there are some shows that won’t allow blogs no matter how big they are.
Like the exhibitors on the floor, the trade show is looking for a ROI on the free passes they give out. A conference pass to the Affiliate Summit West cost $949. The ASW would like to receive back $949 of press coverage for every free media pass they give out. This all comes back to my old post call Big Site Rules, Small Sites Drool. It’s a lot easier to get free stuff when you’re big.